PENUMBRAL LUNAR ECLIPSE

  • The penumbral lunar eclipse happened recently.
  • A penumbral lunar eclipse is a celestial event that occurs when the moon passes through the outer part of the Earth’s shadow, known as the penumbra.
  • Although it is not as visually striking as a total or partial lunar eclipse.
  • During a penumbral lunar eclipse, the alignment of the Earth, Moon, and Sun creates a captivating phenomenon.
  • As the moon enters the earth’s penumbra, it undergoes a subtle darkening.
  • This occurs because the penumbra is a region of partial shadow, where sunlight is only partially blocked by the Earth.
  • The penumbral lunar eclipse is often referred to as a “subtle eclipse” due to its less dramatic appearance compared to other types of lunar eclipses.
  • The occurrence of a penumbral lunar eclipse is dependent on several factors.
  • It requires a full moon, as lunar eclipses can only occur during this phase.
  • The alignment of the sun, earth, and moon must be such that the moon passes through the penumbra.
  • Observing a penumbral lunar eclipse is relatively simple, as no special equipment is required.
  • As the Earth’s shadow envelops the moon, it takes on a smoky or dusky hue.
  • This effect is caused by the scattering of sunlight through the Earth’s atmosphere, which filters out the blue and green wavelengths and allows predominantly red and orange light to reach the moon’s surface.
  • However, since the moon does not pass through the umbra (the darker, central part of the earth’s shadow), it does not acquire the characteristic red colour seen during a total lunar eclipse.

SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB

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